Georgia Bulldogs: Aaron Murray's Absence Opens Door for Backups

By Tim Letcher

Aaron Murray had an outstanding career as the quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, setting numerous school and Southeastern Conference records. But Murray tore his ACL in a November game against the Kentucky Wildcats and will not be able to play in Georgia’s Gator Bowl matchup against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. And since this was Murray’s senior year, his career at Georgia is over.

While head coach Mark Richt would love to have Murray behind center for the New Year’s Day showdown against Nebraska, it could turn out that Murray missing this game could actually benefit the Bulldogs.

How so? Keep in mind that Georgia will be practicing for the Gator Bowl from now until they leave for Jacksonville in late December. During these practices, Hutson Mason, now the Georgia starting quarterback, will get most of the reps behind center. Mason is projected as the starter for next season, when he will be a senior, and the extra practice time, as well as the game action against Nebraska, can only help him.

The extra practice time will also allow Richt and his staff to evaluate the other quarterbacks on the roster. It appears that redshirt freshman Faton Bauta will be Mason’s backup, with redshirt sophomore Christian LeMay and true freshman Brice Ramsey waiting in the wings.

Obviously, Richt and the rest of the Bulldogs would have loved to be sending Murray off with a win in a big bowl game. But if the new quarterbacks can get extra reps in preparation for next season, Murray’s absence could be a blessing in disguise for Georgia.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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